Reasons for not voting

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Of the 7.5 million eligible voters who reported that they did not vote in the May 2, 2011, federal election, 28% said they were not interested (includes feeling their vote would not have made a difference); the percentage was highest in Quebec (35%). Another 23% said they were too busy, while 10% said they were out of town or away and 8% said they did not like the candidates or campaign issues. Roughly 4% said they forgot to vote, while 1% cited religious beliefs.

Among young (aged 18 to 24) non-voters, 30% were not interested in voting, while another 23% were too busy. Virtually identical shares of non-voters aged 25 to 34 were not interested (31%) or too busy (30%). Among seniors aged 65 to 74, the two most common reasons for not voting were their own illness or disability (22%) and not interested (21%).

Among non-voters without a high school diploma, 30% were not interested, 17% reported an illness or disability that kept them from voting, and 14% said they were too busy. In contrast, 28% of non-voters with a university degree cited too busy and 22% were not interested.

Unemployed non-voters were most likely to indicate that they were not interested in voting (39%).

Table 29.b Reasons for not voting, 2011 federal election
Table summary
This table displays the results of table 29.b reasons for not voting % (appearing as column headers).
Not interested 27.7
Too busy 22.9
Out of town/away 10.1
Own illness or disability 8.5
Did not like candidates/issues 7.6
Forgot to vote 3.8
Not on voters list 3.7
Too difficult or transportation problem 2.9
Religious beliefs 1.3
Weather conditions 0.1
Other 11.4
Source: Statistics Canada, 2011 Labour Force Survey.
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